A 2016 Zambia ecosystem review & strategic perspective on digital financial services for smallholder farmers

Published on

February 9, 2017

Mercy Corps' AFA program conducts country-level ecosystem reviews in coordination with its work to support the expansion of digital financial and non-financial services to smallholder farmers in KenyaTanzania, and Zambia. These analyses are published as white papers in the "Fertile Ground" series.  This is the Zambia white paper.  

[Download full white paper]

With strategic learning partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, and support from The MasterCard Foundation, this white paper outlines major findings for institutions that provide digital financial (DFS) and non-financial services for smallholder farmers in Zambia, as well as enabling actors - including donors, investors, and government bodies. The goal of this paper is to provide information that can support the increased range, scale, and quality of services offered in the country. 

Research for the AFA Zambia Ecosystem study was conducted from June through August 2016,  including desk research, expert interviews, and farmer focus group discussions.  

The paper is divided into two sections, beginning with an overview of the agriculture sector in Zambia and the needs of smallholders, including mapping value chains by smallholder participation and organization level. The second  section of the white paper takes and ecosystem approach to assess and understand the growth of mobile money, and the landscape of digital and non-digital financial service providers. The white paper examines different market enablers in the Zambia ecosytem such as delivery channels, policies and regulation, farmer capability building, and more.

It concludes by summarizing different pain points for smallholders in Zambia and identifies new opportunities for financial and non-financial digital providers. 

Zambia white paper

About the Author(s)

Learning Lab Partner

Mercy Corps' AgriFin Accelerate program supports the expansion of digital financial services to one million farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa over six years, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers.

Press release: Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania to Benefit from New Program by Mercy Corps and The MasterCard Foundation

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